Snow Falling

Just another quick photo for you today. The snow was falling last night in that perfect quiet kind of way. I just had to walk outside for a moment to experience and capture it. I snapped a handful of shots and the one below is my favorite. Not technically perfect, and that doesn’t really bother me.

Snow Falling

Colorado Adventure: The Highlights

This summer I was able to spend 9 great days in Colorado for vacation. I originally thought Summer 2015 would happen without a major trip outside MN/WI. Then Kendra mentioned she was traveling to Denver for a conference and wondered if I wanted to tag along. Umm, yes! With only about a month to figure out the details, we planned a 9 day trip that encompassed some of the great activities Colorado has to offer. For today, I thought I’d share some of the highlights from our trip. I amazingly was able to pick 5 photos from the 500+ I took. I hope to also share a few more posts to highlight each of our different adventures.

While Kendra conferenced for the first half of the trip, I enjoyed decompressing from the busy school year. September to May are always so hectic. That’s why I like to take a lengthy vacation during the summer…just to relax a little and not think about work for awhile. I mostly vegged, read in Sense & Sensibility, and ate good food at the restaurants at our resort. My friend Ashley, from grad school, had just moved to Colorado and she came into Denver to hangout one of the days. We wandered around downtown Denver in the heat (so hot…I missed my natural air conditioner of Lake Superior) and saw the state capitol area.

CO Capitol

Once Kendra was done with her conference, we got to go play in the mountains for a couple days. First stop, Red Rocks! We were told by several people that any future concerts we go to will pale in comparison to one we would see at Red Rocks. The acoustics were amazing! We saw the group Wilco and only got rained on a little bit. Seeing the Denver lights in the background was also beautiful.

Red Rocks

After the concert we traveled north to Estes Park for the next leg of our trip: Rocky Mountain National Park. Truly playing in the mountains. RMNP was my 9th National Park and was a splendid day and a half.

Ute Trail RMNP

Highlights from RMNP:

  • Hiked on 4 different trails (and also small spurs at various areas)
  • Visited the Alpine Visitor Center which is the highest elevation visitor center in the National Park Services system
  • Enjoyed wildflower season
  • Hiked on the Continental Divide
  • Had our breath taken away by the beauty of the alpine region…and actually because hiking at 12,000ft is no joke.


After RMNP, we ventured back into Denver for 1.5 days of beer tasting. On our way back into Denver we stopped at New Belgium Brewing (a favorite) in Fort Collins, Left Hand Brewing in Longmont, and Boulder Beer Co in Boulder. Our last full day in Denver involved a lot of walking, 6 breweries, and 1 cidery. We visited Denver Beer Co (a favorite), Wynkoop Brewing Co, Denver ChopHouse & Brewery, Blue Moon at the Sandlot (at the CO Rockies stadium & also a favorite), Great Divide Brewing Co, Epic Brewing, and Stem Ciders (a favorite). I know that sounds like a lot. We were strategic with our tasting and we shared tasters of 3-4 kinds at each place.

Denver Bridge

Such a fun place. I can’t wait to go back some day. And, just a side note, all the photos featured were taken with my phone.

The Start of Something

Today marked the start of the Fall semester at UMD. We’re starting a whole week early. No more starting after Labor Day for our campus. I supervise the Peer Educators who work in our office. These students are primarily juniors, with a few sophomores and seniors thrown in there. This is a group of students (this semester 7) who primarily assist other students who would like help on their resumes. The group does so much more than that though.

Today, the Peers met for the first time as a group. We covered the craziness of job fair season that we are entering (just to prepare people). We also just spent a good amount of time getting to know one another. I had the “brilliant” idea that when people introduced themselves they ask the group a question. Yeah, that took so much more time than I anticipated. Oh well, in the long run it’ll be worth it that we spent the time laying the groundwork for the year.

I see the potential in the group as a whole.
I see that we all have room to grow (including myself).
I see that each person brings her or his strengths.
I see opportunity for challenge and support.
I see great things from each of these students both in and out of our office.
I see that we’ve got a great team of Peer Educators for 2015-16.

Most of all, I’m happy to be their supervisor and I can’t wait to see what happens this year!

Rockies Wildflowers

I just got back from a wonderful 9 day vacation in Colorado. While I did a lot of different things (including a concert at Red Rocks & sampling some fabulous breweries), my favorite time of the whole trip was in Rocky Mountain National Park. The alpine area (well really the whole park) was absolutely stunning. While there, it was wildflower season. Here’s one of my favorite wildflower photos I captured:

Rockies Wildflower

Type Class

Over the past 12 weeks I have whole-heartedly participated in a class by Ali Edwards called Type. Ali is pretty big in the memory keeping/scrapbooking world and I’ve been reading her blog for a couple years now. I love that the core of her work is always the story. Type was a brand new class with a focus on ways to get words onto our projects in different ways. I waffled for weeks about taking the class. The class was kinda pricey, but I knew from previous experiences with Ali’s educational content that it would be worth the money. The night before the class was to start, I pulled the trigger and signed up for the class. I’m so happy I did! For 12 weeks, I’ve watched my memory keeping methods evolve and my Photoshop skills grow. I just finished the last lesson tonight, so I’m sure in the next few days and weeks I’ll have more thoughts on this class.

Each of the 12 weeks had a theme. For each week there was a handout with a main content presentation. Ali also would have 2-4 process videos of her putting together layouts or showing how to do something in Photoshop. There was also a message board to communicate with other class members and Ali along with a gallery where we could share our projects based on the lessons. I loved seeing what other people came up with. As I mentioned before, Ali’s educational content is top-notch. I have learned so much throughout the class. The class was also great to focus on after a busy day at work. It’s such a different mode of thinking. However, I have noticed that I’m using things I learned in the class at work. How cool is that?

Below are my pieces I made based on the week’s lesson.

Wk 1: Type Basics. No layout this week. It was super content heavy on all of the basics of type.

Wk 2: Type in Neat Little Lines & Rows. This week was about longer journaling on a layout. I used this opportunity to make a layout about my trip to Baltimore I took in 2011. I used the content from this blog post on the layout.

Deciding to Be More

Wk 3: Type Marriages. Pairing together different styles of font. I made a layout about my trip to Grant-Kohrs National Historic Site in Montana for this lesson. The page already had the Serif style font of “Grant-Kohrs” and I paired it with a wood chip piece with script.

Type Marriage GKNHS

Wk 4: Type vs. Type. This week was all about contrast. I used different styles of letters to spell out “North Dakota.”

Type vs Type ND

Wk 5 & Wk 6: Type Play. We had 2 weeks of different ways of how to “play” with type. I have 2 examples where I used letter stickers to repeat a word over and over again. Very fun way to use up some of that letter sticker stash I have.

Type Play MT

Type Play Travel

Wk 7: Type Stacks. This week was all about words stacked on top of one another. I don’t have a layout to show. However, this is a lesson I’ve used at work. I created type stacks for a new graphic representation of our career development plan. I went out on a limb & was super happy that my boss liked it so much.

Wk 8: Dear Type, I’m Over You. This was all about type over type or type in shapes. I used the idea as I was putting together the date card for a Project Life layout.

Over type June PL

Wk 9: Type by Hand. Yes! Using our own handwriting. I will often just use my own handwriting when I’m journaling on a layout. For this week, I had fun with a brush marker and wrote out “June” many times on a 4×6 card for a Project Life layout.

Type by Hand June PL

Wk 10: Type on Photos. Learned how to put fun type on photos in Photoshop. I used the word “weekend” from the digital download for the week.

Weekend photo type class

Wk 11: Type as Art. Making type artsy. I had a little fun in Photoshop with putting my name on a 4×6 card. I then added some word/phrase stickers to describe myself.

Type as Art PL Card

Wk 12: Type Story. This week was all about putting it together. I haven’t made a specific layout for the week yet. I’m looking forward to using all the lessons I’ve learned in Type for my future memory keeping projects.